1. We’re afraid that one year, they’ll really cancel Carnival.
Not even an Ebola scare can cause us to miss our national stress reliever. Back in 1972, Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago almost didn’t happen because of a polio outbreak and it was postponed to rainy May. This inspired local calypsonian Lord Kitchener to sing “all we know they better do fast, polio or no polio, man we want we mas” in his Road March winner, Rainorama.
2. We avoid contact with strangers because we’re afraid of getting jhoota.
If someone we don’t know offers us a drink or a nibble, we don’t let our lips touch the rim of the glass or bottle and eat from the other side of the plate. If we notice a small sore in our mouth a few days later, then we weren’t careful enough.
3. We worry that we may know someone in that terrible accident.
Because we live in such a small country where everyone knows everybody, we automatically slow down whenever there’s carnage on the roads to maco and see whether we recognize the number plates and/or the victims.
4. We panic when the price of doubles increases.
Even though it’s the cheapest street food you can find on the two islands, we do not like it when vendors threaten to raise the price, even by one TT dollar. You can increase the price of gasoline and raise taxes, but leave our doubles alone!
5. We worry that one day, we’ll really suffer from a natural disaster.
Whenever a hurricane narrowly passes our islands, we love to say that God is a Trini/Tobagonian. We monitor earthquake warnings like clockwork and will be the first to ask our friends on Facebook if they felt the ground shake.
6. We dread having to apply for/renew our driver’s license or passport or do any other government-related business.
Even though we live in the 21st century, some of our government offices seem to be stuck in the stone ages and often lose or misplace our files. We also pray that government workers are not on strike/vacation because we hate having to use up our personal hours/days to return and repeat the charade.
7. We don’t know what we’ll do when our oil and natural gas reserves run out or the world switches to alternative energy sources.
What else will we do to keep our economy afloat and maintain our first world lifestyles in our developing nation?
8. We worry that someday, we will be publicly embarrassed.
We pray that pictures of us found in compromising positions such as wining on a homeless person on Carnival Monday and Tuesday don’t make the front page or go viral on Ash Wednesday.
9. We don’t pick up money, jewelry or other strange objects we may see lying around in public places.
Some of us are very superstitious and afraid that these objects may be cursed by obeah (witchcraft), bringing trouble for anyone who dares to touch or pocket them.